The first several pages are yet more bitching about what the publicist wants Merry and Co. to do. We apparently needed to know every single article of clothing this woman makes the men change out. We get yet more reminders that Kitto is the same size as a twelve year old. Also, Merry needs to wear a pleated skirt so short the top of her thigh-high hose show.
Because of course a professional publicist wants to have her client flash the collective tabloid press every time she bends over.
And then she provides Merry with four inch spike heels. Patent leather.
And Merry is forced to wear all these things. Because her publicist says she has to. You know, if you want your main character to dress in teeny tiny clothes have them want to wear the damn clothes. If you want your character to not be ridiculed for, say, wearing said mini-skirt and heels to a crime scene, have them dress appropriately when they're on the job and how they want to when they're off. But making your character be forced to wear dental floss and boob tape sends the message "I'm dressed like a tramp, but I'm being forced to." It implies that there is something wrong with what the character is wearing. Either have your characters own the way they dress or let them dress the way they want.
Also: WHAT PUBLICIST IN THEIR RIGHT FUCKING MIND WOULD MAKE THEIR CLIENT DRESS LIKE SHE"S GOING TO A RAVE?
There is, however, a very good bit where Merry flashes back to the press conferences over her father's death. This is completely reasonable. The trauma of the questions and flashing lights and intrusion of privacy on top of the trauma of having your dad be killed horribly would likely make most conferences an ordeal even if you have delt with your trauma, and Merry has VERY clearly never come close to processing this in a reasonable fashion. And yes, it happened years ago. But people process greif and trauma differently...and if the ENTIRE FAIRY COURT doesn't have PTSD I will eat my monitor screen.
The press conference is an utterly boring rehash of everything that has already happened in this book. EVERYTHING here has either already been rehashed or it happened a few pages ago. And of course all the sexist and stupid questions come from the female reporters because GOD FORBID we allow for female competence other than the main character.
One of the reporters in the back of the room is an old enemy of Merry's named Barry. He calls her an outright slut and starts flinging insults.This segues into a long soloquy about a character who hasn't appeared for two books being sentenced to death for selling nude pics of Merry to the tabloids.
Merry decides that she doesn't want her dad's death to be the lead in to the story, so they stage a motherfucking assassination attempt WHAT THE HELL.
A cop is bespelled to shoot Merry, and Frost steps in and gets shot. Merry is dragged out of the room and in the process Barinthus touches the magic ring of matchmaking, so we go from boring as fuck press conference to mind raping cops into distracing the press to making out with yet another man.
He gets his godhead back. It involves lots of water, so everybody in the press conference gets wet.
I am not kidding.
End of chapter
Next chapter, after descriptions of how everybody got to a limo, we rehash the shooting of Frost. It hasn't been established that the guys staged the shooting, but it is established that Doyle let him get off a shot so the other humans would believe the cop had really been about to shoot Merry. So the cop's dead now. Nice, guys. They quickly make it clear that none of them staged the shooting, but I really want to call bullshit on it because it's way too damn pat. Merry doesn't want her dad to be the lead-in on the press conference, and BAM, assassination attempt. She looks culpable at best.
It also turns out the chalice teleported itself into the press conference, which explains some of the fireworks. Everyone oggles it for several pages. Then we find out that the Queen's new plan is to force Merry to have sex with multiple partners at once.
You know, it goes without saying that Andais's tactics are basically rape, rape, rape with a topping of rape-sauce, but at some point SOMEBODY ought to have the spine to say "Fuck you". They've certainly got the power right now to make it stick. The reason they don't is because LKH wants to have the characters have sex without any of the responsability, because in her mind sex is something that ought to have consequences. If you don't choose to have sex, you don't need to keep any of the consequences. In this mindset consent is an actively dangerous act that needs to be repressed at all costs. Ones purity and appearance of goodness is far, far more important than one's health and well-being.
I've said it before, I'll say it again: A pagan author SHOULD NOT BE echoing the sentiments of fundamentalist Christian nutcases.
That sex and torture were my aunt’s hobbies had always made her difficult to deal with, or so I’d thought. Barinthus was saying the opposite.Yes. We're referring to sadism with non-consenting partners as a hobby.
It turns out that Andais has been torturing people because it distracts her from her own mental illness.
I do not understand how anyone could ever think this anything less than reprehensible.
They then talk more about how bringing Barinthius back to his Godhead could have drowned all of St. Louis and the chapter ends.